Warren Brown (sportswriter)

Warren Brown (January 3, 1894 – November 19, 1978) was an American sportswriter who spent the major portion of his career in Chicago, Illinois. Brown was named the J. G. Taylor Spink Award winner in 1973 by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and was inducted the same year as Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and umpire Jocko Conlan.

Warren Brown
BornJanuary 3, 1894
DiedNovember 19, 1978 (aged 84)
Spouse(s)Olive Burns

Early life

Brown was born in Somersville, California, a mining town near San Francisco. His father Patrick was the local saloon keeper. When the Somersville mines flooded, the family moved to San Francisco, where Brown was a firsthand witness to the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Brown attended St. Ignatius College (later renamed The University of San Francisco) for his prep school as well as university years. During his college years Brown played baseball for the Sacramento minor league team in the summers.


After getting his undergraduate degree he began his sportswriting career with the San Francisco Bulletin. After serving in U.S. Army intelligence stateside during World War I, Brown returned to the Bulletin, but soon moved to William Randolph Hearst's San Francisco Call & Post. Brown was one of the first sportswriters to hail a local boxer named Jack Dempsey. He also doubled as the paper's drama critic, specializing in vaudeville and musical comedy. In the early 1920s Brown was transferred to the Hearst paper in New York for a year. That is where he hired a young sportswriter named Ed Sullivan, who went on to be a society columnist and then a mid-century American icon with his TV variety show. Starting in 1920, Brown saw every World Series for fifty years. Brown's final move was to Chicago to be the sports editor of Hearsts Chicago Herald-Examiner. He was a sports editor, columnist and baseball beat writer (usually at the same time) for several Chicago papers over the next 40 years. While working at the Chicago American as sports editor he mentored a young sportswriter named Brent Musburger.

Brown was a friend and confidant of legendary University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. Brown and former Notre Dame running back Marchy Schwartz had dinner with Rockne in Chicago the night before his ill-fated plane crash. He wrote Rockne's biography in 1931.

Long credited to Grantland Rice, Brown was actually the person that coined the nickname for fabled Illinois running back Red Grange. He wrote a column describing Grange's running style and said he was like a "Galloping Ghost." The nickname is one of the most famous in sports annals. Brown also coined the nickname "The Sultan of Swat" for legendary baseball icon Babe Ruth.

As a beat writer and columnist he was known for his acerbic wit and breezy reporting style. Following the 1945 World Series, he wrote a history of the Chicago Cubs as part of the Putnam series of books that covered all the major league baseball teams. Mr. Brown's famous quote from the 1945 World Series between the Cubs and Tigers of " I don't think either one of them is good enough to win it" usually surfaces as the Cubs reach rare playoff appearances.

It was sufficiently well-received that The Chicago Cubs is one book in that series that has been periodically re-issued. In 1947 he wrote a memoir of sorts called Win, Lose or Draw. It was a collection of anecdotes about celebrated figures in sports Brown had crossed paths with in his first 30 years as a sportswriter.

Personal life

Brown's three sons were all athletes at the University of Notre Dame. Sons Bill and Pete were swimmers while youngest son, Roger, was a backup quarterback for the Fighting Irish on the 1946 and 1947 National Championship teams. Brown also had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Rempe (née Brown).

Warren Brown died at age 84 in Forest Park, Illinois and is buried in Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois next to his beloved wife and best friend, Olive Burns Brown.


  • Rockne (Chicago: Reilly & Lake, 1932)
  • The Chicago Cubs (New York: Putnam, 1942)
  • Win, Lose, or Draw (New York: Putnam, 1946)
  • The Chicago White Sox (New York: Putnam, 1952)

External links

Chicago American

The Chicago American was an afternoon newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois, under various names until 1974.

Veterans Committee

The Veterans Committee is the popular name of various committees of the National Baseball Hall of Fame that elect participants other than recently retired players.

Originally, it referenced the National Baseball Hall of Fame Committee to Consider Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players; a former voting committee of the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame that provided an opportunity for Hall of Fame enshrinement to all individuals who are eligible for induction but ineligible for consideration by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). The term "Veterans Committee" (was composed of four committees of baseball veterans) is taken from the body's former official name: National Baseball Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans (1953).

In July 2010, the Veterans Committee name was changed by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors and its name was no longer officially used by the Hall of Fame, which called three new 16-member voting committees by era: the Expansion Era Committee (1973–present), the Golden Era Committee (1947–1972), and the Pre-Integration Era Committee (1876–1946) – each, "The Committee" (the term "Veterans Committee" is still being used by some sports media). The three committees met on a rotating cycle once every three years to elect candidates from each era to the Hall of Fame that have been "identified" by a BBWAA-appointed "Screening Committee" named the "Historical Overview Committee" (10-12 representatives; BBWAA members).

Beginning in 2010, 2011, and 2012, the three separate era committees had been responsible for considering a total of thirty-two candidates from three eras in the following categories: Managers, umpires, executives (includes team owners, general managers, and major league officials), and long-retired players.

In July 2016, however, the Hall of Fame announced a restructuring of the timeframes to be considered, with a much greater emphasis on modern eras: Today's Game (1988–present), Modern Baseball (1970–1987), Golden Days (1950–1969), and Early Baseball (1871–1949). Those major league players, managers, umpires and executives who excelled before 1950, as well Negro Leagues stars, will still have an opportunity to have their careers reviewed, but with less frequency.

Warren Brown

Warren Brown may refer to:

Warren Brown (politician) (1836–1919), American politician

Warren Brown (sportswriter) (1894–1978), American sportswriter

Warren Brown (actor) (born 1978), English actor

Warren Brown (television host), Food Network host

Warren Brown (cartoonist) (born 1965), Australian cartoonist and TV presenter

Warren Brown (sailor) (1929–2014), Bermudian Olympic sailor

Warren S. Brown (born 1944), American neuropsychologist, professor and researcher

Warren G. Brown (1921–1987), known as "Freckles Brown", US rodeo bull rider

Warren Brown, political activist and plaintiff, see Clyde cancer cluster

Warren C. Brown, professor of history

Veterans Committee
Negro League Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award


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